National Roundup

Maine: Legal battle delays $120M wind farm
ROXBURY, Maine (AP) — Town leaders in the western Maine town of Roxbury say a legal appeal has tied up financing for a 22-turbine wind farm.

Selectmen say work was supposed to begin this month on Record Hill Wind’s $120 million project, but construction will have to await the outcome of a legal battle.

Record Hill principal Robert Gardiner tells the Sun Journal newspaper that the wind project opponents’ appeal has tied up financing pending a favorable decision.

Gardiner says the Maine supreme court will hear arguments later this fall. The project was approved by Maine environmental regulators in August 2009.

Maine: Suspicion cast on landlord in murder trial

ALFRED, Maine (AP) — The defense in the murder trial of a New Hampshire man accused of killing his ex-fiance in Maine is casting suspicion on two other men.

Defense lawyer Daniel Lilley wants jurors to consider the victim’s landlord and another man who worked for the landlord and struck up a romance with the victim the week before she disappeared.

The Portland Press Herald says both men gave conflicting statements and contradicted themselves during testimony this week in York County Superior Court.

Prosecutors say defendant Jason Twardus of Rochester, N.H., strangled the victim, Kelly Gorham of Alfred, Maine, two months after she broke off their engagement. Her body was buried in a shallow grave on his father’s property in northern New Hampshire.

Alabama: Jury finds for cops in excessive force case

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — A federal jury ruled in favor of two Dothan police officers who were sued by a woman who claimed they used excessive force when one of them used a Taser on her at a hospital.

The Dothan Eagle reports that the jury held on Wednesday that Dothan Police Cpl. Jason Schulmerich and Cpl. Jason Weed did not use excessive force in restraining Pamela Borton in 2006.

Borton alleged that the officers used excessive force when they subdued her at Southeast Alabama Medical Center after her mother called paramedics, claiming her daughter was in a manic state.

Borton was handcuffed by Midland City Police and paramedics and was transported to SAMC. She claimed excessive force was used to restrain her there.

Texas: Ex-Alton police chief acquitted of public lewdness

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) — A former Alton police chief accused of having sex with a woman behind an auto parts store has been acquitted of public lewdness.

Baldemar Flores maintains his September 2009 arrest was politically motived. Flores this year failed in his bid to unseat Mayor Norberto Salinas.

Flores was acquitted Wednesday in the case in which the store manager, while taking out some trash, reported seeing two people having sex in a car behind the store.

Manager Thomas Roland, during the trial, testified he could not identify either person in the vehicle.

Flores resigned as Alton police chief in February. The McAllen Monitor reports Flores and his wife now operate a private security firm in Mission.

The woman Flores allegedly was with when he was arrested still faces a public lewdness charge.

Arkansas: Judge awards attorneys $1.50 in legal fees

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has awarded $1.50 in attorneys fees to attorneys for an Arkansas prison inmate who won a civil rights lawsuit against the state prison system.

The attorneys for Shawanna Nelson Lumsey had asked for about $140,000 in fees — but Judge James Moody on Monday said they are limited by state law to 150 percent of damages in the case.

A federal jury in July found Lumsey’s civil rights were violated when she was shackled as she gave birth while she was an inmate in 2003 and awarded her $1.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the judge did award the attorneys just less than $1,800 for expenses.

The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 limits attorneys fees in inmates’ lawsuits to 150 percent of the damages awarded.

New York: Man convicted of killing upstate teen in ’96
KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) — A 29-year-old man already imprisoned for a 1997 slaying has been convicted of killing a 15-year-old boy in the Catskill Mountains a year earlier.

An Ulster County Court jury Wednesday convicted Daniel Malak of second-degree murder in the March 1996 bludgeoning death of Joseph Martin. Prosecutors say Malak and Alexander Barsky lured

Martin to Malak’s property in Kerhonkson to drink beer and watch a comet, then beat him with a metal pipe for stealing money from them.

Martin’s body was dumped in the woods, and Barsky later admitted to returning to the scene in 2002 to collect the bones, which he tossed away in New York City.

Barsky pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2008.

Malak currently is in prison for the 1997 murder a 62-year-old New York City man at the victim’s weekend home in the Catskills.

North Carolina: Judge denies retrial in case of murdered man
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge has refused a new trial for a former Fayetteville psychologist serving a life sentence for conspiring with her Army lover to kill her Air Force pilot husband.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that U.S. District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle on Wednesday dismissed the request from 41-year-old Michelle Theer. She was convicted in 2004 of first-degree murder in the slaying of her husband, Air Force Capt. Marty Theer.

Theer was ambushed outside his wife’s office in December 2000.

Investigators say Theer set up the ambush with a co-defendant with whom she was having an affair. That man, John Diamond, asked a military appeals court earlier this week to review his case.

Diamond was a staff sergeant at Fort Bragg when he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.